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The Climate Impacts of Land Surface Change and Carbon Management, and the Implications for Climate-Change Mitigation Policy

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While carbon sequestration in the terrestrial biosphere may play a necessary role in mitigating anthropogenic climate change, current climate mitigation policies do not generally take into account the effects of the resulting changes in land surface albedo, the fluxes of sensible and latent heat to the atmosphere, and the distribution of energy within the climate system. As a result, proposed mitigation strategies may not achieve their desired result. This paper summarizes the interactions between the land surface and the atmosphere and explains why these complex interactions ought to be incorporated into proposed national and international carbon-credit trading regimes.

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